A changing of the guard has taken place at AGL Loy Yang this week, as Nigel Browne is farewelled after 37 years on site and Christo van Niekerk is welcomed as the new General Manager.

AGL Loy Yang’s former General Manager, Nigel Browne said his last days at Loy Yang would be bittersweet after 37 years on site, but it’s the people he will miss the most.

“Loy Yang has become a second home to me, and its people are like family. Although I won’t be coming to site every day, managing the station and mine has had a huge impact on my life,” Mr Browne said.

“I will watch with interest as Loy Yang transitions and repurposes itself for the future.

“I want to thank everyone I have had the pleasure of working with over the years and wish them all the best.

“It’s a pleasure to be passing the baton over to Christo who I am confident will do Loy Yang proud.”

AGL Chief Operating Officer, Markus Brokhof said Nigel has been a brilliant General Manager and will be missed by everyone at AGL.

“I want to thank Nigel for his tireless service, he has played a critical role in ensuring the safety of thousands of employees while also being a role model and mentor to many,” Mr Brokhof said.

“We undertook a careful selection process to find Christo and we are confident he will become a familiar face in the local community that so many of our workers are a part of.

“AGL Loy Yang has gained a valuable new General Manager who will ensure the power station and mine continue to operate safely and reliably and provide energy for millions of households until its retirement.”

Christo brings more than 30 years-experience in coal generation to AGL Loy Yang, having worked with Eskom in South Africa and with GNPower in the Philippines.

Christo’s journey to Loy Yang was far from ordinary, completing 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine after flying into Sydney from the Philippines, via a stopover in Papua New Guinea.

AGL Loy Yang General Manager, Christo van Niekerk said he was excited about the opportunity to be directly involved with running a power station and mine.

“There are going to be many similarities and differences in this role from my experience abroad and I’m looking forward to sinking my teeth in,” Mr van Niekerk said.

“Initially, my focus will be getting to know our people and the wider community, so I can better understand the challenges and opportunities both the site and region have.

“I’m committed to ensuring that Loy Yang A continues to operate safely and meet its production requirements.”

Nigel Browne is retiring after 43 years in the energy industry, 37 of those at AGL’s Loy Yang power station and mine.